The recent weather and flooding have had myriad consequences and repercussions. One concern is what to do with damaged prayer books and other religious sacred texts?
Geniza, meaning reserved or hidden in Hebrew, is a place to store sacred texts and other documents after they are damaged and before they are buried in a Jewish cemetery.
You may be wondering, where can I take my damaged siddur (prayer book) and other sacred documents? And, what should be saved for burial?
If you have any sacred texts needing to be buried, please bring them to the following organizations who have graciously volunteered to serve as a geniza until these items can be buried. We have a few simple instructions to make the process easier: Ideally, please try to dry out the materials. If still wet, they MUST be in HEAVY trash bags, and not cartons. If dry, please put them in cartons that can be lifted by you – not wheeled on a cart, but lifted. That will ensure that our volunteers can lift them safely when it is time to transport them to the cemetery.
- Congregation Har HaShem – Wednesday-Friday 10 am – 3 pm; Sunday 9 am – 11:00 am
- Congregation Nevei Kodesh – Monday-Thursday 9:30 am – 4:30 pm, Friday 9:30 am – 3:00 pm
- Chabad at the University of Colorado – during regular business hours; please drop off near the coat racks left of the entrance
Here is a definition of items that may help you when determining what to submit:
- Torah scrolls, their mantles and sashes; tefillin, their straps, covers and bags; mezuzah scrolls, wrappings and cases; a parochet (cloth ark covering) and bima (Torah reading table) cover; tzitzit or tallit fringes; Torah books, their covers, dust jackets, slip covers or other parts.
- Materials containing: (a) G‑d’s name, (b) three consecutive words of a biblical verse, when written on one line with the intent to quote the verse, or (c) other written or printed Torah ideas or laws. (From chabad.org)
We will be posting a subsequent article in the BJN when we know the date when the community will be going to the cemetery to bury these items.
If you have specific questions or want to help transport these items from the geniza to the cemetery, please contact Cynthia and Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org.